The Ho’ala swim is held exactly one week before the Kona race on the swim course. There are slight changes towards the end, the finish is on the small beach at the King Kam hotel instead of back on “Dig Me Beach”, usually resulting in slightly quicker times compared to the Kona swim. It is used by a lot of athletes as an excellent open-water training session, the table below shows just the Kona Pros that I have been able to identify in the results, comparing their times in this year’s swim, their expected swim times for this year’s Ironman race (plus the difference, usually faster) and the same results (as long as they are available) for last year’s Ho’ala swim and Ironman Hawaii swim.
- From the reports I have heard, Josh and Lucy swam hard in the second half and created a sizable gap to the rest of the field. A few athletes (Braden Currie, Matt Chrabot and Reece Barclay who raced in the M25 agegroup) followed for some time but ended up more than 30 seconds behind. Tim O’Donnell led the rest of the field but was already more than two minutes behind.
- Lucy’s time would have been well under the Kona swim course record (48:43 by Jodie Jackson from 1999).
- Most athletes swam about 1:30 quicker than their expected swim times. However, there were reports that most athletes started 50 meters in front of the start buoy when they were pushed out by the swell. Nonetheless, Katja Konschak and Beth McKenzie swam six minutes faster than their expected swim times! Only Patrick Lange swam slower than his expected Kona swim time.
- There are a number of interesting speculations one could start from these swim times, for example both Cam Wurf and Lionel Sanders swam well faster than their expected swim times. But they probably only have limited value as it’s hard to tell how comparable the effort in the test swim is to the race.
|Athlete||Ho’ola Swim||Expected Swim||Faster By||2017 Ho’ola||2017 Swim|
|Gurutze Frades Larralde||01:03:02||01:04:53||1:51||01:04:58|